2021 Atlanta Classic: Day 2 Finals Live Recap


Saturday Finals Heat Sheet

Saturday Finals Live Stream

Night two of the 2021 Atlanta Classic will feature the finals of the women’s and men’s 200 fly, 50 free, 100 back, 200 breast, and the 400 free. UGA’s Dakota Luther leads the women’s 200 fly event while Cal’s Trenton Julian and DART’s Luca Urlando swam 0.07s within each other this morning to land the middle lanes on the men’s side. After tying for the 100 fly title yesterday, Nashville’s Gretchen Walsh and Athens’ Natalie Hinds tied again this morning for the top two seeds in the women’s 50 free while Brazil’s Bruno Fratus enters the men’s 50 free with a two-tenths prelims advantage over WR holder Caeleb Dressel.

Flipping over to the women’s 100 back, NCAA star Rhyan White will race Olympian Olivia Smoliga while Cal’s Daniel Carr led prelims over WR holder Ryan Murphy in the men’s 100 back. Then, Kentucky’s Gillian Davey and Olympian Kevin Cordes will headline the 200 breast finals while 16-year-old Hayden Miller and Florida’s Kieran Smith will close the meet out in the 400 free events.

The session will first start off with a three-way swim-off for the 10th spot in the women’s 50 free championship final following a top-10 scratch. Swimming for the A-final spot will be Alyssa Marsh, Morgan Scott, and Maddy Banic, all swimming 25.98 this morning.

Update: Scott won the swim-off at 25.65 and is headed to the A-final. Marsh (25.72) and Banic (25.96) will contest in the B-final.


  • Meet Record: 2:08.61, Hali Flickinger (ABSC), 2016
  • Wave II Cut: 2:12.56
  • Wave I Cut: 2:14.59

Top 3:

  1. Dakota Luther (Athens Bulldog), 2:09.33
  2. Izzy Gati (Kentucky), 2:10.94
  3. Amanda Ray (Unattached), 2:11.87

Storming to the win in the women’s 200 fly with a sub-2:10 effort was Athens Bulldog Dakota Luther, touching in at 2:09.33. Luther now moves up to No. 7 in the 2020-2021 US rankings. Finishing in second place was Kentucky’s Izzy Gati at 2:10.94 while Florida’s Amanda Ray hit 2:11.87 for third place.

Bluefish 18-year-old Summer Smith placed fourth at 2:11.97, smashing her personal best of 2:13.08 and the Wave II cut of 2:12.56. Smith’s swim just snuck in at No. 88 all-time in the 17-18 age group rankings.


  • Meet Record: 1:56.29, Caeleb Dressel (GSC), 2019
  • Wave II Cut: 1:59.63
  • Wave I Cut: 2:01.19

Top 3:

  1. Trenton Julian (Unattached), 1:55.77 *Meet Record
  2. Chase Kalisz (Athens Bulldog), 1:56.90
  3. Jay Litherland (Dynamo), 1:58.10

Out like a lightning bolt was Cal’s Trenton Julian, splitting 54.64 at the halfway point. Julian never slowed down, touching the wall with a season best of 1:55.77. Julian now ranks No. 1 in the US and cracked the top 15 times in the world this season. Placing second in Atlanta was Chase Kalisz at 1:56.90, which moves up to No. 2 in the US rankings.

Julian also took down Dressel’s 2019 meet record of 1:56.29.

Dynamo’s Jay Litherland caught a fading Luca Urlando by 0.06s for third place, 1:58.10 to 1:58.16. Litherland’s time now moves up to No. 8 in the country while Urlando now ranks 9th behind Litherland.


  • Meet Record: 25.21, Simone Manuel (ALTO), 2016
  • Wave II Cut: 25.65
  • Wave I Cut: 25.99

Top 3:

  1. Gretchen Walsh (Nashville), 25.30
  2. Natalie Hinds (Athens)/Julie Meynen (Unattached), 25.37
  3. (tie)

It was another tight women’s sprint final as teen sensation Gretchen Walsh was holding off Luxembourg’s Julie Meynen and Athens’ Natalie Hinds. Yet it was Walsh who took the win at 25.30, touching out Hinds’ and Meyen’s tied swims of 25.37 by 0.07s.

All hitting the Wave II cut were USC’s Anika Apostalon (25.44), Alabama’s Morgan Scott (25.56), UGA’s Maxine Parker (25.57), and 18-year-old Lindsay Flynn (25.61).

Winning the B-final was Olivia Smoliga, touching in at 25.55.


  • Meet Record: 21.73, Michael Andrew (RPC), 2018
  • Wave II Cut: 22.71
  • Wave I Cut: 23.19

Top 3:

  1. Caeleb Dressel (Gator), 21.82
  2. Bruno Fratus (Coral Springs), 21.98
  3. Quintin McCarty (Pines Peak), 22.51

Blasting off the start to the early lead was Caeleb Dressel, staying ahead of prelims leader Bruno Fratus. As Fratus accelerated into the finish, it was Dressel who took the win at 21.82. Fratus settled for second at 21.98. Meanwhile, 17-year-old Quintin McCarty held off Cal’s Ryan Hoffer by one one-hundredth for third, 22.51 to 22.52. NOVA’s Cristian Quintero took fifth at 22.58 while Alabama’s Matt King matched the Wave II cut at 22.71.

Dressel’s time shaves just 0.01s off his season best of 21.83 from PSS Mission Viejo, only behind Ryan Held‘s 21.62. Meanwhile, McCarty’s new lifetime best now moves him up to No. 15 all-time in 17-18 age group history.


  • Meet Record: 1:00.13, Olivia Smoliga (ABSC), 2016
  • Wave II Cut: 1:01.49
  • Wave I Cut: 1:02.69

Top 3:

  1. Olivia Smoliga (Athens Bulldog), 58.31 *Meet Record
  2. Rhyan White (Alabama), 58.43
  3. Ellie Waldrep (BAY), 1:01.04

At the 50-meter mark, Rhyan White turned at 28.21, two-tenths ahead of Olivia Smoliga‘s 28.47 split. The two traded the narrow lead on the last 50, touching in with a photo-finish. Peering at the scoreboard, Smoliga touched out White by 0.12s, 58.31 to 58.43.

Finishing in third place was 18-year-old Ellie Waldrep at 1:01.04, holding off Kentucky’s Caitlin Brooks (1:01.13) and Aggie Lisa Bratton (1:01.14).

Smoliga and White now boost to the top two times in the US this season and No. 3 and No. 4 in the season world rankings.

2020-2021 LCM Women 100 Back

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  • Meet Record: 53.08, Ryan Murphy (CAL), 2016
  • Wave II Cut: 55.51
  • Wave I Cut: 56.59

Top 3:

  1. Ryan Murphy (Cal Aquatics), 52.95 *Meet Record
  2. Daniel Carr (Unattached), 53.65
  3. Bryce Mefford (Unattached), 54.63

Breaking his own 2016 meet record and dropping 2.27s from prelims was Ryan Murphy, registering a time of 52.95. Cal teammates Daniel Carr (53.65) and Bryce Mefford (54.63) touched in just ahead of 18-year-old Jack Aikins (55.02) and Cal newcomer Destin Lasco (55.21).

Canadian Javier Acevedo took sixth at 55.62 while Florida’s Clark Beach (55.77) and 16-year-old Caleb Maldari (55.84) rounded out a tight top eight.

Maldari’s swim tonight moves him to No. 18 all-time in 15-16 age group history.


  • Meet Record: 2:26.16, Micah Sumrall (GAME), 2018
  • Wave II Cut: 2:30.49
  • Wave I Cut: 2:33.29

Top 3:

  1. Meghan Small (Tennessee), 2:28.66
  2. Brynn Curtis (Unattached), 2:28.77
  3. Gillian Davey (Kentucky), 2:29.03

Auburn’s Brynn Curtis had over a second lead at the 150-mark over the rest of the field. Then, UGA’s Zoie Hartman began to gain on Curtis along with Tennessee’s Meghan Small and Kentucky’s Gillian Davey. At the touch, it was Small who had the 0.11s advantage over Curtis, 2:28.66 to 2:28.77.

Davey took third at 2:28.77 while Hartman finished in fourth at 2:29.59.


  • Meet Record: 2:09.49, Josh Prenot (CAL), 2016
  • Wave II Cut: 2:15.28
  • Wave I Cut: 2:17.29

Top 3:

  1. Nic Fink (Athens Bulldog), 2:11.37
  2. Kevin Cordes (Athens Bulldog), 2:13.30
  3. Reece Whitley (Unattached), 2:13.69

Utilizing his lethal back-half speed, Athens’ Nic Fink split a consistent 1:07.94 (33.91/34.03) to pull ahead of Kevin Cordes and Reece Whitley. At the touch, Fink powerfully punched the wall at 2:11.37. Meanwhile, Cordes (2:13.30) and Whitley (2:13.69) broke 2:14 for the top three times.


  • Meet Record: 4:00.31, Katie Ledecky (NCAP), 2016
  • Wave II Cut: 4:13.28
  • Wave I Cut: 4:16.89

Top 3:

  1. Tylor Mathieu (Unattached), 4:12.89
  2. Beth McNeese (Kentucky), 4:12.90
  3. Jillian Barczyk (Lafayette), 4:14.37

With roughly 150 meters left in the women’s 400 free final, Florida’s Tylor Mathieu and Beth McNeese paced neck-and-neck towards the finish. Under the flags, stroke-for-stroke, Mathieu touched out McNeese by one one-hundredth for the win, 4:12.89 to 4:12.90. Both swimmers easily cleared the Wave II cut of 4:13.28. City of Lafayette’s Jillian Barczyk took third at 4:14.37.


  • Meet Record: 3:49.32, Kieran Smith (FLOR), 2021
  • Wave II Cut: 3:54.21
  • Wave I Cut: 3:57.29

Top 3:

  1. Kieran Smith (Florida), 3:47.71 *Meet Record
  2. Jake Magahey (SwimAtlanta), 3:48.56
  3. Trey Freeman (Florida), 3:50.59

Throughout the race, Jake Magahey was pacing off of Kieran Smith‘s long stroke. Into the last 25 meters, Magahey was kicking like a boat as Smith remained sailing with the lead, dropping 1.61s from this morning at 3:47.71. Maghey settled for second at 3:48.56 while Florida Gator Trey Freeman placed third at 3:50.59.

Cal’s Zach Yeadon (3:51.90) and Plymouth’s Andrew Abruzzo (3:53.50) rounded out the top five times, both earning the Wave II cut.

Time Trials Update: Gators Caeleb Dressel and Khader Baqlah swam an evening 100 free side-by-side. Dressel waded to a 48.67, which is 0.01s faster than Ryan Held‘s US No. 1 time of 48.68, while Baqlah swam a FINA Olympic B time of 49.29. Meanwhile, Ryan Lochte swam a 200 IM time trial of 2:02.29, splitting 25.33/31.65/36.84/28.47.

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3 years ago

Tonight we see the 100 free in both Atlanta and North Carolina. Can curzan or smoliga answer to Mckeon’s 52.29??? One of them breaks 53 today I will eat my hat Mark my words

3 years ago

A bit off topic but does anyone know if NBC has released their broadcast schedule for the Olympic trials? Are they airing the prelims?

Jay Ryan
3 years ago

I just checked this evening and, wow!, this thread took on a darker tone of “Aussie vs Yankee”! Let’s remember that these threads constitute our unique little community. Sometimes the playful banter can appear almost unsportsmanlike…almost.

Reply to  Jay Ryan
3 years ago

Couldn’t agree more. Both USA and AUS are great at swimming and fans one and all can look forward to some fast swimming over the next couple of months.

Ol' Longhorn
Reply to  Jay Ryan
3 years ago

playful banter? it was crackers.

3 years ago

Honestly, I would’ve been good with seeing 58.3 and 58.4 being 1 and 2 at US trials, and surprised with those times as #2 and 3 at trials. Seeing these times a month out is … scary

Tea rex
3 years ago

58.45 won gold in 2016. USA has at least 4 active backstrokes faster than that now.

Reply to  Tea rex
3 years ago

And like 7 active swimmers that have been faster

Reply to  Tea rex
3 years ago

If only there was a 4 x 100m backstroke relay.

Reply to  coach
3 years ago

Even then, you’d have to leave off some incredibly talented female swimmers.

On the men’s side, there could be a really fun relay of Grevers, Casas, Ress, and Murphy.

3 years ago

You forgot Abe Lincoln for the Union with the victory.

3 years ago

Russia is also strong on the men’s side.

3 years ago

The women’s 50 free result (Walsh 25.30) appears significantly less useful than the rest of the country this weekend with 4 swims faster in Indy, Curzan’s bust out, and Huske, Manuel, Weitzeil yet to perform either this weekend or next but … if you look at the stream of the Atlanta final, Walsh was significantly more impressive than the numbers show. Something goofy happened with her on the blocks and she was literally half a body behind off the blocks. Look at it. I went back and looked again just to be sure hers was the bizarre start noticed. It was. With just a standard start I’d guesstimate her actual performance was more in line with a 24.5-24.7.

Captain Ahab
3 years ago

When will the Olympic Trials pick’ ems be available?

3 years ago

lol Ryan Lochte…. 2:02 for 200 im tt
what would ryan lochte do? Over-exaggerate his fitness!

Reply to  LaBlom
3 years ago

Eh, he was 1:59 a few meets ago, which is about as fast as he’s ever been in-season. He’s right around where he was in May of 2011 before he took the world record.

Not saying he’s going to do that, but he’s such a taper monster that 2:02 is the sort of thing you’d expect from prime Lochte just as much as old man Lochte.

Reply to  Jack
3 years ago

Since he swam the time trial, I guess that he won’t be swimming Sunday. Instead, he’ll be heading back to Gainesville. Probably a smart move.

Reply to  A C
3 years ago

I watched the time trial on youtube at the 2:59 mark. He swam in Lane 2 and Coach Gregg Troy was on the nearby pool deck: watching, timing, encouraging. Afterward they talked for a few minutes and then Lochte jumped in the warmdown pool. Leads me to reflect on the personal relationships involved and all the work, long hours, and pressure.

Reply to  A C
3 years ago

So true!

Reply to  Jack
3 years ago

Man, this must being psychologically hard on Lochte to be swimming only middling times a month before trials. I hope that he benefits from his taper as much has he has in the past.

Reply to  LaBlom
3 years ago

Swimswam has posted Lochte’s time trial to YouTube. He looked pretty good to me. Maybe he was a little slow on the breast to free turn.

About Nick Pecoraro

Nick Pecoraro

Nick has had the passion for swimming since his first dive in the water in middle school, immediately falling for breaststroke. Nick had expanded to IM events in his late teens, helping foster a short, but memorable NCAA Div III swim experience at Calvin University. While working on his B.A. …

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